Contact: Jennifer Stratton, Publicity Chair
Email: [email protected]
For Immediate Release
Harrisburg Chapter, NSDAR Honors Local Historian Barbara Barksdale with Prestigious NSDAR Historic Preservation Medal and Certificate
On October 12th, 2023, the Harrisburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented Ms. Barbara Barksdale with the NSDAR Historic Preservation Medal and Certificate.
This award recognizes and honors a person who has done extraordinary volunteer work over a long period of time in establishing a historic district, preserving a local landmark, restoring or preserving objects of historic cultural significance, or establishing or participating in oral history projects, youth leadership, and education, as it pertains to historic preservation, at the regional, state, and/or national level. Fewer than thirty of these awards are presented each year throughout the United States.
Barbara Barksdale is a historian, as well as the Founder and President of the Friends of Historic Midland Cemetery and Founding Member and current Chair of Pennsylvania Hallowed Ground. PAHG aids caretakers, historians, students and all who care for and restore African American cemeteries, and supports conservation, documentation, education, and training.
She has spent decades restoring Midland Cemetery in Steelton, where African American veterans from the Buffalo Soldiers, U.S. Colored Troops, Montford Point Marines and World War I and World War II are buried. It is also the final resting place for enslaved people, and citizens who formed churches and served as civic leaders and steel workers.
Founded in 1795, Midland had succumbed to neglect. The property had in fact been condemned and slated for development, however thanks in large part to Barbara—whose work began with a family flower-laying tradition on Memorial Day—it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Places on the Register contribute to our understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of our nation.
“It means a lot to say that we are saving this history, sharing this history, and above all that we’re preserving it for future generations to visit, research, and honor,” said Barksdale.
“I cannot think of any person more deserving of this award,” said Deborah White Hershey, Chair of Harrisburg DAR’s Historic Preservation Committee, “We are especially grateful for Barbara’s outreach to schoolchildren, which helps enrich public understanding of this underrepresented part of American history.”
The Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 with the mission of promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism. The Harrisburg Chapter, founded in 1894, continues at the local level to preserve the legacies of our Founding Fathers and the Patriots who fought so bravely for the independence of the United States of America.